Pakistan’s Special Olympians excel with flurry of medals

LAHORE: Pakistan’s Special Olympians lived up to the tradition of winning significant number of medals at World Games on Thursday as they bagged as many as seven gold and three bronze medals in various events in Los Angeles.


In tennis, the doubles crown was placed on the head of Pakistan’s pair of Ahsan Anwar and Mohammad Arif Qayyum for beating Venezuela’s Soleman and Eskander in straight sets 4-2, 4-0, as per the information made available here.

All competitors of the tennis events were divided into four divisions on the basis of their ability and performance, with Pakistan pair being placed in Open 4th Division having 12 players in the group.

As per rules, four types of ITF-approved balls were used for different categories of ability. Green ITF-approved balls were used for Division 4.

The final round of table tennis also took place on Thursday with Pakistan’s special Olympian Mohammad Arham being too good for his opponents in the Division one competitions. First, he defeated Al-Ketbi Awadh of the UAE 3-1 then secured a win against Diouf Moha Hamaou of Senegal with 3-0 score before finally brushing aside Macedonia’s Stojanovski David with the identical score to win a gold medal.

On the other hand, Pakistan’s Ruqia Hasan finished with a bronze medal in the table tennis singles in Division 2 encounters while winning against China’s Wong Ying with 3-0 score and losing to Hongkong’s Chan Suetying and Wong ting.

In the badminton singles event, it was a great day for Jahanzaib Iqbal for he secured a gold medal by winning all his three matches in straight sets against his respective rivals from Germany and Isle of Man.

Pakistan’s special Olympians were also not behind in the athletics as Ramail Irshad bagged a gold medal in the 200m race final with 29.26 timing in the Division 46 competition. Eight players were running in the division with Algeria’s Meziane Zahid winning silver with 29.30 timing while bronze went to WongKhai Lunk.

Marvi Azhar earned a bronze medal in the 400m in the Division 3 clocking 01:25:16 while first positions went to Zacarlas Sara.

Earlier, on Wednesday, Asim Zar finished top in the Division 14 race of 100m final of the swimming event but his result was withheld due to technical reasons. However, in the end, the jury of the event decided in his favour and awarded him the gold medal with his timing being 2:29:56.

The other swimmer who was also awarded gold in the same race was Lowe Jonatham of Jamaica with a timing of 2:34:12.

The cycling events were staged at the Long beach situated at some two hours’ drive from Los Angeles. In the time and trial event, Pakistan’s cyclists proved too good for their opponents with Uzma Yousuf winning a gold medal in the one kilometre run in 2:37:55 while Khadija Irfan finishing with a bronze medal in the same race at 2:57. The silver medal went to Morocco’s Elhadi Saffa clocking 2:45:7.

In the other time and trial one kilometre race, Sumble Yousuf finished seventh.

On the other hand, Aqsa continued her impressive run by winning a gold in the 50m backstroke in the Division 2 meet of the swimming event, clocking 1:40:09 with the silver medal going to Relsey Chat of the US and bronze to Darling Gomez of Aruba.

In basketball event, Pakistan lost to Israel 19-27 but later Pakistan’s unified Team beat Luxemburg 36-29. According to head coach S.M. Tanveer, the basketball team missed many opportunities of scoring points.

The chairperson of Pakistan’s Special Olympics has congratulated all the medal winners and hoped that other Special Olym­pians will also do well in the coming days.